Yesterday I posted what I thought was a rather harmless message on my Facebook page about the tragedy that took place at a high school in Parkland, Florida this week.

The theme was that we always thought that school was the safest place for our children to be and how 17 families likely felt that way Wednesday morning only to suffer incredible losses later in the day. Recent history tells us that schools have become another target for evil and like many of you I am sick, saddened and frustrated over the lack of action to seek solutions to a growing problem.

I expressed that on Facebook and seemed to ignite a firestorm which was not my goal.  It turned into a forum for those on both sides of the gun control issue and sparked considerable debate which I guess pretty much sums up what’s taking place in this country.

Allie Carbone event flyer (Townsquare Media NJ)

Do we need better gun control? YES. Do we need to do more for those with mental issues? YES.  More than anything we need leaders to step up and lead. The family of every child lost to this senseless violence deserves at least that.  It’s time for action and not just words.

Allie Carbone could use some help and her friends who live here are doing just that.  Allie is a 26-year old Central Regional High School graduate who left Bayville in September for Austin, Texas and nursing school.  As she prepared to come home for the holidays she came down what she thought was the flu and was so sick on her return flight to Texas that her first stop was the hospital.

It was there that Carbone would learn she had leukemia and with her family and close friends back here in Ocean County she has begun the fight to beat her sickness.  Allie is undergoing chemotherapy and while that in itself is a challenge it’s especially difficult when you don’t have health insurance.

To that end there will be a fundraiser at Tuscan Bistro Bar on Hooper Avenue in Toms River on Friday, February 23 from 8-11pm featuring food, a live DJ, raffle and door prizes and more.  For more information or to make a direct donation you can visit